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April 15, 2007, 9:14 PM CT

alcohol and sleep-related breathing disorder

alcohol and sleep-related breathing disorder
Increased usual alcohol consumption among men is linked to an increased risk of a mild or worse sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD), as per a research studyreported in the April 15th issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM).

The study, authored by Paul E. Peppard, PhD, and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focused on 775 men and 645 women, who were reviewed for alcohol consumption and a sleep-related breathing disorder. It was discovered that, relative to men who consumed less alcohol, for each increment of one drink per day, men who consumed more alcohol had 25 percent greater odds of a mild or worse SRBD.

Among women, minimal to moderate alcohol consumption was not significantly linked to an increased risk of an SRBD. As per Peppard, possible explanations for this include the limited range of alcohol consumption reported by women in the study sample, reducing the ability to detect clinically important moderate associations. Alternatively, added Peppard, women may be more resistant than men to threats to nocturnal respiratory stability. Such protection may be due to hormonally-mediated increased ventilatory drive, anatomical differences or other characteristics that may provide general protection for women from events of an SRBD, noted Peppard, adding that women, for example, appear to require relatively greater increases in body mass to demonstrate weight-related increments in an SRBD in comparison to men.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 15, 2007, 9:05 PM CT

Genetics, society and race

Genetics, society and race
Minority individuals are much more likely to develop and die from cancer than the general U.S. population. Prior research points to lack of health insurance, poverty, language and cultural barriers, and inadequate access to early detection services and good medical care as causes. Research reported today at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) suggests that genetics, in addition to socioeconomic status, are important factors accounting for the disparity of cancer incidence and mortality between African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians.

Exploring New Measures of Socio-Demographic Factors Linked to Later Stage of Cancer Diagnosis: Abstract 795

A survey of stomach and kidney cancer patients in Los Angeles revealed that those who were diagnosed in a late stage of disease when cancer is harder to treat successfully were likely to be older, living in an unsafe neighborhood and traveling at least 45 minutes to get to the doctor.

Scientists at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine cite two general types of personal risk factors linked to late cancer diagnosis: socio-economic, or cultural, factors correlation to knowledge about the health care system and difficulties accessing it; and individuals' failure to give priority to medical care, despite having access to it.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 13, 2007, 4:57 PM CT

Hope For Early Diagnosis Of Alzheimer's

Hope For Early Diagnosis Of Alzheimer's
Research by faculty and staff at Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J.; the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; and Drexel University may lead to better diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimers disease.

In a $1.1-million National Institutes of Healths National Institute on Aging study that team members conducted during the last three years, they determined early Alzheimers could be diagnosed with a high rate of accuracy evaluating electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. The study may lead to an earlier diagnosis, and therefore earlier therapy and improved quality of life, for people at the earliest stages of the disease.

As per the Alzheimers Association, the condition affects more than 5 million Americans, approximately 1.5 percent of the population. That number is only expected to grow.

Rowan University electrical and computer engineering associate professor Dr. Robi Polikar conducted the research with Dr. Christopher Clark, associate professor of neurology, associate director of the NIH-sponsored Alzheimer's Disease Center at Penn and director of the Penn Memory Center, and with Dr. John Kounios, a Drexel psychology professor.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 11, 2007, 11:09 PM CT

Stress may help cancer cells resist treatment

Stress may help cancer cells resist treatment
Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine are the first to report that the stress hormone epinephrine causes changes in prostate and breast cancer cells that may make them resistant to cell death.

"These data imply that emotional stress may contribute to the development of cancer and may also reduce the effectiveness of cancer therapys," said George Kulik, D.V.M., Ph.D., an assistant professor of cancer biology and senior researcher on the project.

The study results are reported on-line in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and will appear in a future print issue.

Levels of epinephrine, which is produced by the adrenal glands, are sharply increased in response to stressful situations and can remain continuously elevated during persistent stress and depression, as per prior research. The goal of the current study was to determine whether there is a direct link between stress hormones and changes in cancer cells.

While a link between stress and cancer has been suggested, studies in large groups of people have been mixed.

"Population studies have had contradictory results," said Kulik. "We asked the question, If stress is associated with cancer, what is the cellular mechanism? There had been no evidence that stress directly changes cancer cells".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 10, 2007, 6:34 PM CT

Misusing vitamin to foil drug test

Misusing vitamin to foil drug test
Taking excessive doses of a common vitamin in an attempt to defeat drug screening tests may send the user to the hospitalor worse.

Scientists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and The University of Pennsylvania reported on two adults and two adolescents who suffered toxic side effects from taking large amounts of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, in mistaken attempts to foil urine drug tests.

Both adult patients suffered skin irritation, while both adolescents had potentially life-threatening reactions, including liver toxicity and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), as well as nausea, vomiting and dizziness. One of the teens also had disrupted heart rhythms.

All four patients recovered after therapy in hospital emergency rooms for the adverse effects. The report appeared online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

"Testing urine for drugs is becoming increasingly common for job applicants," said study leader Manoj K. Mittal, M.D., a fellow in Emergency Medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Because niacin is known to affect metabolic processes, there is a completely unfounded claim that it can rapidly clear the body of drugs such as cannabis and cocaine. However, niacin is toxic when taken in large amounts".

Niacin is easily available as an over-the-counter vitamin supplement. As a vitamin, the daily recommended intake is 15 milligrams, but niacin is used in much larger doses to treat vitamin deficiencies and other conditions. "People often assume niacin is completely safe," said Dr. Mittal. "As a water-soluble vitamin, it is easily excreted from the body. However, the body has its limits, and some of these patients took 300 times the daily recommended dose of niacin." Dr. Mittal added that there is a report in the medical literature of a patient who suffered liver failure, requiring a liver transplant, after taking excessive doses of niacin.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 3, 2007, 10:49 PM CT

How Lead Exposure Produces Learning Deficits

How Lead Exposure Produces Learning Deficits Tomas R. Guilarte, PhD
A study of young adult rats by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health provides evidence that explains exactly how exposure to lead during brain development produces learning deficits. The study shows that exposure to levels of lead that are similar to those measured in lead-intoxicated children reduces the birth and survival of new neurons (neurogenesis) in the brain. Lead also alters the normal development of newly born neurons in a part of the brain (hippocampus) known to be important for learning and memory. The study is reported in the March 30, 2007, issue of Neuroscience.

"There was a dogma in neuroscience that you were born with all the neurons you would ever have, but that thinking has changed dramatically in the last 20 years," said Tomás R. Guilarte, PhD, senior author of the study and professor of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "The exciting idea is that researchers have discovered ways to increase the number of new neurons, and this may facilitate learning in the hippocampus portion of the brain".

The scientists studied young adult rats, using a group of lead-treated and non-treated (control) rats. When they examined the brains of lead-exposed rats, they observed that fewer neurons were born and those neurons that were born survived for a shorter amount of time and had abnormal development.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 3, 2007, 10:44 PM CT

Secondhand smoke proves to be serious

Secondhand smoke proves to be serious
A study published in this months issue of the Journal of Periodontology observed that subjects with periodontitis who were exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to develop bone loss, the number one cause of tooth loss.

Scientists studied rats that were induced with periodontal disease. One group was not exposed to cigarette smoke while the other two groups were exposed to either 30 days of smoke inhalation produced by non-light cigarettes (cigarettes containing higher tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels) or light cigarettes (cigarettes containing lower tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels). Results showed that bone loss was greater in the subjects exposed to secondhand smoke regardless of if it was smoke from light or non-light cigarettes than those who were exposed to no smoke at all.

"Prior clinical research has proven a strong positive connection between smoking and gum disease. However, this study is unique in that it reviewed the impact of secondhand smoke on periodontitis," explained study author Getulio da R. Nogueira-Filho, DDS.

"This study really drives home the fact that even if you dont smoke the effects of secondhand smoke can be devastating. Part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle should include avoiding smoke filled places such as nightclubs, bars and even some restaurants," said Preston D. Miller, Jr., DDS and AAP president. "The Academy applauds the cities that are taking steps to make their hospitality industries smoke free so all patrons can enjoy not only a good time but also good overall health." .........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 3, 2007, 10:15 PM CT

Men and Women See Things Differently

Men and Women See Things Differently
In the hands of the wrong person, power can be dangerous. That's particularly the case in the workplace, where the abuse of power can lead to sexual harassment.

Issues of power, workplace culture and the interpretation of verbal and non-verbal communication linked to sexual harassment were the focus of a study by Debbie Dougherty, assistant professor of communication in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Working with a large healthcare organization in the Midwest, Dougherty examined the question: why does sexual harassment occur?.

"Power," she said. "It was the common answer. It came up repeatedly. However, what I found were multiple definitions of power."

Those definitions varied by gender. Dougherty's assessment was based on the opinions and perceptions of 23 participants (11 women and 12 men) representing a range of hierarchical levels and job types within the healthcare organization. The average participant┬┐s age was 38, and each participant had been employed by the company an average of seven years. None were doctors. After being placed in discussion groups, they openly discussed sexual harassment and confirmed what some scientists have argued - sexual harassment is more about power than sex, Dougherty said. In fact, moderators never asked participants to address the issue of power.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 2, 2007, 11:02 PM CT

Rapid response to 1918 flu pandemic

Rapid response to 1918 flu pandemic
One of the persistent riddles of the deadly 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic is why it struck different cities with varying severity. Why were some municipalities such as St. Louis spared the fate of the hard-hit cities like Philadelphia when both implemented similar public health measures? What made the difference, as per two independent studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was not only how but also how rapidly different cities responded.

Cities where public health officials imposed multiple social containment measures within a few days after the first local cases were recorded cut peak weekly death rates by up to half compared with cities that waited just a few weeks to respond. Overall mortality was also lower in cities that implemented early interventions, but the effect was smaller. These conclusions--the results of systematic analyses of historical data to determine the effectiveness of public health measures in 1918--are described in two articles published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

These important papers suggest that a primary lesson of the 1918 influenza pandemic is that it is critical to intervene early, says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIHs National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which funded one of the studies. While scientists are working very hard to develop pandemic influenza vaccines and increase the speed with which they can be made, nonpharmaceutical interventions may buy valuable time at the beginning of a pandemic while a targeted vaccine is being produced.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


April 1, 2007, 9:35 PM CT

How a traumatic memory can be wiped out

How a traumatic memory can be wiped out
French CNRS researchers in collaboration have shown that a memory of a traumatic event can be wiped out, eventhough other, associated recollections remain intact. This is what a scientist in the Laboratory for the Neurobiology of Learning, Memory and Communication (CNRS/Orsay University), working with an American team, has recently demonstrated in the rat. This result could be used to cure patients suffering from post-traumatic stress.

Recalling an event stored in the long-term memory triggers a reprocessing phase: the recollection then becomes sensitive to pharmacological disturbances before being once more stored in the long-term memory. Is drug treatment capable of wiping out the initial memory, and only that memory?

The researchers trained rats to be frightened of two distinct sounds, making them listen to these sounds just before sending an electric shock to their paws. The next day, they gave half of the rats a drug known to cause amnesia for events recalled from memory, and played just one of the sounds again. When they played both sounds to the rats on the next day, those which had not received the drug were still frightened of both sounds, while those which had received the drug were no longer afraid of the sound they had heard under its influence. Recalling the memory of the electric shock linked to the sound played while rats were under the influence of a drug thus meant that the memory was wiped out by the drug, leaving intact the memory linked to the other sound.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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